The Venezuelan Winter League Finals began last night and Zulia took a 1-0 best-of-seven series lead with a 12-2 victory over Lara. Zulia scored eight runs in the 6th inning in front of close to 17,000 fans.
Former big leaguer (and KC Royal back in 2001) Endy Chavez hit a two-run home run (2-for-4) in the 3rd inning to give Zulia the lead for good. Philadelphia Phillie Freddy Galvis led off for Zulia and went 4-for-6, while former NY Yankee and current SD Padre Jose Pirela went 3-for-5, falling a homer short of the cycle.
Former KC Royal Mario Lisson (who earlier in the winter ball season was playing for Magallanes) went 1-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored for Zulia.
In the loss, centerfielder Paulo Orlando went 1-for-4 with a run scored and a strikeout.
Game 2 will be played in Lara again tonight.
In the Dominican Winter League, the best-of-nine championship series is tied at 1-1. Last night, Licey beat Aguilas, 4-2. Licey scored two runs in the 8th inning to break the tie.
Former Royal (back in 2011) Yamaico Navarro tripled to start the eighth and scored on an error. A sac fly scored Licey’s fourth run.
Right fielder Jorge Bonfacio started in right field for Licey and batted sixth. He went 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout before being pinch hit for in the 6th inning.
Former Royals catchers Francisco Pena (1-for-3) and Brayan Pena (popped up in the ninth) both caught for Aguilas.
Game 3 will be played at Aguilas tonight. Bonifacio is in Licey’s starting lineup. Former Royal Mario Santiago is starting on the mound for Licey.
*The Clemente League best-of-nine finals continues tonight (Game 3).